Pedagogy, often referred to as the “art of teaching,” is a multifaceted profession dedicated to fostering learning, growth, and development among students. Pedagogy combines the science of teaching—including resources, strategies, and methods—with a deep understanding of the students and their environment, as well as a passion for driving positive outcomes.
As such, pedagogy consists of elements of practice and theory. Pedagogical practices are informed by individuals’ understandings of their students and the environment, as well as the context in which learning takes place. On a larger scale, pedagogy is often part of a broader educational system and/or institutional approach.
Eight Ways Pedagogy Facilitates Learning
Inquiry-based Learning: Inquiry-based learning is a student-led, inquiry-driven approach to learning.
This method encourages students to ask questions and engage in the learning process by exploring their curiosity. By posing and answering questions, students can develop the logic, knowledge, and techniques needed for further inquiry.
Experiential Learning: Experiential learning is a form of experiential teaching that involves “learning by doing. ” This method relies on hands-on activities, simulations, and field trips to introduce students to different aspects of the subject matter.
The premise is that by engaging in activities, students will acquire a deeper understanding of the idea or concept. Cooperative Learning: Cooperative learning is a form of learning that involves students working in small groups to collectively explore topics and make sense of concepts.
It requires students to work together to find solutions while holding each other accountable. By depending on one another, students develop their problem-solving skills, create a culture of collaboration, and gain an appreciation of different perspectives.
Problem-based Learning: Problem-based learning is an inquiry-based instructional approach in which students are presented with a problem to solve. This approach requires students to self-direct their learning as they engage in activities such as researching, discussing, and evaluating the problem.
As a result, students are able to apply their knowledge to real-world circumstances and develop problem-solving skills. Project-based Learning: Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that emphasizes both knowledge acquisition and application. In PBL, students are given a problem to solve or a project to complete. This approach encourages critical-thinking, collaboration, and an appreciation for relevancy. Inquiry-based Instruction: Inquiry-based instruction (IBI) is a pedagogical approach that encourages more engaged and self-directed learning. This approach engages students in the learning process by giving them the flexibility to explore the subject matter through inquiry-based activities and the opportunity to ask questions. As students explore the subject matter, they are able to draw connections between their prior knowledge and their current understanding. Contextual Learning: Contextual learning is a form of cross-curricular teaching that combines elements of social studies, science, language arts, and mathematics to teach students about the world. This approach provides students with the opportunity to learn within a meaningful context and encourages students to make connections between their own environment and the existence of the world beyond it. Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction (DI) is a broad term that refers to a variety of strategies and methods used to accommodate all types of learners. This approach does not rely on “one size fits all” instruction and focuses on addressing the individual needs of each student. As such, DI requires a teacher to adjust the content and delivery of the instruction, modify the lesson plan to include all types of learners, and provide differentiated assessment.
Pedagogy is a vital part of teaching, as it facilitates learning and encourages students to explore the subject matter. By striving to create an effective learning environment, teachers can use various approaches to account for different types of learners and create an enriching experience for their students.
As a teacher, understanding various pedagogical approaches is essential for helping students develop self-direction and critical thinking skills. Pedagogy is an ever-evolving practice and, as such, teachers should be open to new ways and opportunities for enhancing instruction.